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Re: Unidentified subject!

On Wed, Apr 22, 1998 at 03:36:40PM -0400, Daniel Martin at cush wrote:
> (I've replied to debian-user instead of debian-devel because this
> really belongs on -user)
> Ian Keith Setford <ians@jove.acs.unt.edu> writes:
> > Yo-
> > 
> > I would like suggestions and input on how to "sell" Debian in the sense of
> > Debian versus RedHat, FreeBSD, or any other distribution.  I will attempt
> > to persuade a small committee of faculty to install Debian on a yet to be
> > purchased machine.  The machine is an experiment at my university to see
> > if a select group of students can successfully administer a machine.  I
> > have my own views of why Debian is better and honestly I love it to death
> > but the marketing and X-based configuration of RedHat seem to be weighing
> > against me.  I am also aware of a notion that FreeBSD is somewhat more
> > "secure" than linux which I must also combat. 
> > 

Here some add-ons to Daniel comments:

FreeBSD vs Debian: 
FreeBSD are more stable than Linux but if you stick with the last-really
stable kernel (like 2.0.32 currently) this not happen. Real unstability
doesn't happen if you well administrated your machine and not doing
the 'latest is the best' scheme.

Linux are more software port on it. I run Linux here with all I need for
my school work (I'm in electrical engineering), publishing (I wrote a lot
for a journal), personal budget and drawing. Don't need Windows or even DOS.
[OK, needs a little more games (not that much, I have great fun with Koules
and FreeCiv) but that doesn't matter for you, I think ;) ]

Debian upgrade are less trouble, don't have to cvs co and recompiled

RedHat vs Debian:

The Debian policy get you with a "warranty" (don't take my word for legal
stuff, please!), that all packages will not conflict with each other (at
least if they aren't mark as conflicting :), follow mostly the same scheme
for configuration (in /etc/), documentation (/usr/doc/[copyright,changelog]),
Menuing, etc. (that's what policies is for, not?). You'll get something
like that only with the official RedHat distribution (who contains much less
packages than Debian). Any other rpm package should be check carefully.

Debian follow the DFSG policy that garanty your organization to not be sued
if it installs a package from the main distribution (or even contrib!).
Checking for non-free packages are easy because the copyright are in
[ command:
dpkg --fsystarfile package.deb | tar -xOf - usr/doc/<package>/copyright | less
With RedHat, no policy make such a garantee [although they try to warn about
some troublesome package]

Although the first installation of RH is easier, Debian is no trouble if
you already know it (you will know it), and have lot of Documentation on
how to get started on the web site. As pointed by Daniel, X are easier
in RH but only if it can do good stuff with XSetup ( on my computer,
XF86Setup don't work, making the old RH installation [who try to do all
in X] a real pain. ). A well documented monitor and a well known card (to
get help on usenet) are a more certain solution to get a less trouble

Debian has a better upgrade comportement (upgrading RH can be a real pain
because lot of conflict and depenencies aren't detect), and Debian 2.1
will have apt who has a better interface (IMO) than glint (both curses and
X!!). If you can with a little less than 4 months (we hope), you'll see
why Debian is better in the long run...

Finally, also in the future Debian 2.1, you can ksysv and kuser (in the
kdeadmin package), who duplicate most of the RH tools (even NT one!).
[Already present and work well, just need to have the level option).
But may be we will get the CHAOS tool integrated in Debian who will let
you configure your system even more easily!

Hope this help you a bit to advocate Debian. Please also, stay on fact:

Debian are easier to maintained (administration aren't far away)
Debian follow a very strict policy that every package must follow
The bug tracking system is a good support.
The Distribution are the only one to promote entirely Open Source and
Open Development.

Fabien Ninoles                                  Running Debian/GNU Linux
E-mail:                                                    fab@tzone.org
WebPage:                      http://www.callisto.si.usherb.ca/~94246757
WorkStation [available when connected!]:     http://nightbird.tzone.org/
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